Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

All suggestion to improve/change the Gui used by Wagic.
Heaugerkergerk
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:54 am

Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by Heaugerkergerk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:07 am

This is a question I've asked the Devs, but since their workload is prolly a little hectic; I figured some forumer's wouldn't mind brainstorming it. ;-)

So, I recently downloaded the android beta and iOS beta releases of Wagic (0.17). Obviously, we're aware of the button binding issues associated with the android release and the complete lack of button binding available for the iOS. My question is, (and please forgive my ignorance, for I am a self-educated programmer) is there an easy way to add a "soft-key" overlay to the code and link only one hardware button to it? I assume that for the android, it would be simpler to achieve but would be more fuctional on the iOS. Maybe just bind the overlay to appear/hide on a double-tap/right-click...

Again, I've been messing around with the two systems but have limited experience with both. I learn pretty quickly but there seems to be a surprising lack of information on this subject readily available. I can only assume it's a problem that is addressed openly in formal programming education... :-/

Any information or pointers you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, in advance.

mnguyen
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:13 pm

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by mnguyen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:55 am

Heaugerkergerk wrote:This is a question I've asked the Devs, but since their workload is prolly a little hectic; I figured some forumer's wouldn't mind brainstorming it. ;-)

So, I recently downloaded the android beta and iOS beta releases of Wagic (0.17). Obviously, we're aware of the button binding issues associated with the android release and the complete lack of button binding available for the iOS. My question is, (and please forgive my ignorance, for I am a self-educated programmer) is there an easy way to add a "soft-key" overlay to the code and link only one hardware button to it? I assume that for the android, it would be simpler to achieve but would be more fuctional on the iOS. Maybe just bind the overlay to appear/hide on a double-tap/right-click...

Again, I've been messing around with the two systems but have limited experience with both. I learn pretty quickly but there seems to be a surprising lack of information on this subject readily available. I can only assume it's a problem that is addressed openly in formal programming education... :-/

Any information or pointers you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, in advance.
The simple answer to your question is "sure, anything is possible. It's just a matter of programming" :) The real question is whether one is really necessary for the game to run.

One important rule of UI design is to minimize the number of "administrative" elements and maximize content. You want to try to keep the number of non-game UI elements to a minimum. They detract from the game itself. Doing an "overlay", I assume, means to transpose a graphical version of the PSP controls onto the screen. This is distracting. While it may make sense in some games to put a joystick as an overlay onto the screen, I don't see the need of one here. Much of the Wagic controls can be substituted by some kind of touch interface (ie touch, swipe, pan, etc) . We still have more work to make the game totally touch friendly. For example, the current Android/iOS mechanism to "interrupt" is to swipe. while it works, it may be better to have the onscreen button work as the interrupt. That part needs to be coded. Same goes for other aspects of the game.

Thus, my answer to your suggestion would be to reconsider the need of an overlay and think if what currently is lacking can't be made working if we modify the touch interface itself.

Heaugerkergerk
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:54 am

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by Heaugerkergerk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:24 am

mnguyen wrote:The simple answer to your question is "sure, anything is possible. It's just a matter of programming" :) The real question is whether one is really necessary for the game to run.

One important rule of UI design is to minimize the number of "administrative" elements and maximize content. You want to try to keep the number of non-game UI elements to a minimum. They detract from the game itself. Doing an "overlay", I assume, means to transpose a graphical version of the PSP controls onto the screen. This is distracting. While it may make sense in some games to put a joystick as an overlay onto the screen, I don't see the need of one here. Much of the Wagic controls can be substituted by some kind of touch interface (ie touch, swipe, pan, etc) . We still have more work to make the game totally touch friendly. For example, the current Android/iOS mechanism to "interrupt" is to swipe. while it works, it may be better to have the onscreen button work as the interrupt. That part needs to be coded. Same goes for other aspects of the game.

Thus, my answer to your suggestion would be to reconsider the need of an overlay and think if what currently is lacking can't be made working if we modify the touch interface itself.
I can fully appreciate the minimalist approach to this problem but it seems to me that it'll be more work to rewrite the touch interface than to do the overlay. That may be because of my lack of knowledge on the actual code... I found the interface on the iOS version left me unable to see my deck in the card manager and to back out of menus. And the keyboard in the rename deck section for the Android was completely useless (I had to rename from the deck(#).txt). Perhaps I (or someone more experienced) could write that key binding code into the system, but I'd need help with the starting point... :-/

mnguyen
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:13 pm

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by mnguyen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:43 am

Heaugerkergerk wrote:
mnguyen wrote:The simple answer to your question is "sure, anything is possible. It's just a matter of programming" :) The real question is whether one is really necessary for the game to run.

One important rule of UI design is to minimize the number of "administrative" elements and maximize content. You want to try to keep the number of non-game UI elements to a minimum. They detract from the game itself. Doing an "overlay", I assume, means to transpose a graphical version of the PSP controls onto the screen. This is distracting. While it may make sense in some games to put a joystick as an overlay onto the screen, I don't see the need of one here. Much of the Wagic controls can be substituted by some kind of touch interface (ie touch, swipe, pan, etc) . We still have more work to make the game totally touch friendly. For example, the current Android/iOS mechanism to "interrupt" is to swipe. while it works, it may be better to have the onscreen button work as the interrupt. That part needs to be coded. Same goes for other aspects of the game.

Thus, my answer to your suggestion would be to reconsider the need of an overlay and think if what currently is lacking can't be made working if we modify the touch interface itself.
I can fully appreciate the minimalist approach to this problem but it seems to me that it'll be more work to rewrite the touch interface than to do the overlay. That may be because of my lack of knowledge on the actual code... I found the interface on the iOS version left me unable to see my deck in the card manager and to back out of menus. And the keyboard in the rename deck section for the Android was completely useless (I had to rename from the deck(#).txt). Perhaps I (or someone more experienced) could write that key binding code into the system, but I'd need help with the starting point... :-/
Okay, for the android port, I'm not sure what's going on there. I don't have an Android device to test with. As for the iOS port, the app uses the iDevice keyboard when entering deck names. Actually, doing the overlay is harder to do overall as it is basically the same principle as my suggestion but now instead of programming for things already in the interface, we now have to bring up a new interface and write code to make the app work with that. I'm confident we'll get good results in the next few weeks with the interface that you will appreciate.

Heaugerkergerk
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:54 am

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by Heaugerkergerk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:05 am

I hope so. :-) All-in-all, though, I'm thoroughly impressed with what you have achieved. I'm eager to see what comes out of this touch interface additions. I'm gonna continue working on the functionality of the cards, so the "working" sets cover a wider range. Do you know any way I can view my deck on the iOS? I had bound the key to the menu button (square) on the Android...
Thanks for all your help and information. Keep up the good work and let me know if there's any way you need me to help. ;-)

mnguyen
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:13 pm

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by mnguyen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:36 am

Heaugerkergerk wrote:I hope so. :-) All-in-all, though, I'm thoroughly impressed with what you have achieved. I'm eager to see what comes out of this touch interface additions. I'm gonna continue working on the functionality of the cards, so the "working" sets cover a wider range. Do you know any way I can view my deck on the iOS? I had bound the key to the menu button (square) on the Android...
Thanks for all your help and information. Keep up the good work and let me know if there's any way you need me to help. ;-)
The deck editor is one. Not sure what else you mean. If you mean the actual text file, I'm working on that. I have to spend some time writing up the docs for the iOS port specifically because there are some pretty strict guidelines I need to follow if the commercial version of the app is going to be viable. :)

--mike

Heaugerkergerk
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:54 am

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by Heaugerkergerk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:11 am

The deck editor is one. Not sure what else you mean.
Sorry. I should've explained myself a little better... I mean, what action do I use, from within the deck editor, to view the deck I'm building? My swipes don't seem to do anything... (in fact, I can't even see the other sections of cards [i.e. Just the colors, lands, artifacts, ect.])

Djardin
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:40 am

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by Djardin » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:09 pm

On Android, and it should now be the same on iOS, you can switch between your deck and your card library by swiping left and right. You can change color by swiping up/down.

mnguyen
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:13 pm

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by mnguyen » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:07 am

Djardin wrote:On Android, and it should now be the same on iOS, you can switch between your deck and your card library by swiping left and right. You can change color by swiping up/down.
Not in the current build on this forum. My daily build is much better. I'll have wololo post an update soon.

Nigol
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:19 pm

Re: Android and iOS UI Improvement Suggestion

Post by Nigol » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:38 pm

I have read the guide you posted on the googlecode wiki page about the iOS controls. But It seems most of these double wipe up or 2 finger are not working on Android.

For example there is no way (unless mapping a button to the menu button) to sell cards, or toggle cards images. Or looking at the stats for a deck.

Why are these not implemented inside of the ANdroid version?

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